Though he no longer works as an ambassador, Vimont holds the uncommon honorific title of “Ambassador of France” because of his lifelong service as a diplomat.
Moderators Boston University professor Vivien A. Schmidt and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs senior associate Karl Kaiser introduced Vimont, who spoke on topics ranging from the changing role of China in Europe to the uncertain future of Brexit.
Regarding the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, Vimont said many Europeans oppose a solution that leaves Britain a seat at the table as a nonmember of the EU, as it would set a bad precedent for other nations. He said he hopes Europeans find a creative way to address this concern.
“I personally think that we should start thinking out of the box maybe to find something interesting because, after all, Britain will be a former member — we’ve never had that — and therefore why not try to invent and be creative?” he said.
Vimont also discussed China, claiming that the nation has begun to cooperate more with the European Union. Vimot, however, admitted he was cautious about assuming diplomatic relations are improving, adding that Europeans must simply wait and see.